Biologics-based therapy for the treatment of rheumatoid arthritis

Clin Pharmacol Ther. 2012 Jan;91(1):30-43. doi: 10.1038/clpt.2011.278. Epub 2011 Dec 14.


Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) remains a major clinical problem, but treatments involving biologics have revolutionized its management. They target pathogenically relevant cytokines such as tumor necrosis factor and immune cells such as B cells. In RA, biologics reduce joint inflammation, limit erosive damage, decrease disability, and improve quality of life. Infections are the main risk associated with their use. Because of the high prices of biologics, their cost-effectiveness is a matter of debate. They are mainly coadministered with disease-modifying drugs such as methotrexate when the latter are found to achieve insufficient disease control on their own.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Antirheumatic Agents / economics
  • Antirheumatic Agents / immunology
  • Antirheumatic Agents / therapeutic use*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / drug therapy*
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / economics
  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / immunology
  • Biological Products / economics
  • Biological Products / immunology
  • Biological Products / therapeutic use*
  • Humans
  • Treatment Outcome


  • Antirheumatic Agents
  • Biological Products